Community benefits behind award for Central Okanagan regional park

RDCO Parks Services Director Murray Kopp, left, receiving the Parks and Open Spaces award from BCPRA President Darryl Condon.
Image Credit: Contributed

Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park received the Association’s 2015 Parks and Open Spaces award at the BCPRA annual symposium in Victoria on May 8th. The award recognizes the park’s successful focus in delivering cultural and recreational benefits to residents across the Central Okanagan.

The waterfront park in West Kelowna is a gathering place for the community. Last year it hosted 14 interpretive tours, 29 weddings and a dozen individual Regional Parks programs. The annual Harvest Fair in September attracts more than 2,500 people and the Spooktacular Pumpkin Walk each Halloween sees hundreds of families stroll the nut orchard trails, illuminated with more than 100 creatively carved pumpkins.

In addition, the award recognizes the importance of volunteer and citizen involvement through the efforts of the Gellatly Nut Farm Society. It’s raised over $260,000 to assist the Regional District in purchasing the four hectare Okanagan Lakefront property in 2002. Last year alone, Society volunteers raised about $30,000 through the annual harvest and sale of nut varieties and other fundraising endeavors. These funds are used to further preserve and improve amenities and buildings in the park.

The BCPRA award also acknowledges the unique nature of the regional park. It’s a 110 year old active nut orchard that provides visitors with a historic perspective on the internationally-recognized testing and breeding of unique nut species by the Gellatly family dating back to the early 1900’s.

For more information about any Regional Parks program and our detailed online section for Regional Parks, visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parks or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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